The Undiscovered guide to Belgrade

Belgrade is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It dates back to at least 5700 BC when the Vinča culture, one of Europe’s largest and oldest prehistoric cultures, evolved there. In more recent history, the Byzantines, Ottomans, Austro-Hungarians and Yugoslavs have all put their stamp on the Serbian capital, making it a truly cosmopolitan city.

If you’re joining us on our 7 day Serbia adventure, you’ll have some time to explore Belgrade at the start of the trip with a walking tour. If that leaves you wanting more, we asked our Serbia hosts and Belgrade residents Alex and Philomena where to go next.

The best part? All of these activities are free and family-friendly (of course, if you don’t have children in tow there are ways to make this a boozier tour of Belgrade with a wide range of trendy bars and clubs to choose from).

Temple of Saint Sava

Belgrade Temple of Saint Sava

A can’t miss – and a won’t miss (it’s 70m tall), the Temple of Saint Sava is not only Serbia’s largest Orthodox church, it’s one of the world’s biggest. Step inside and be wowed by its intricately painted icons stretching from floor to ceiling. It lies just outside of Stari Grad (old town) in Nelmar. Tip – ‘Make sure you also head downstairs and check out the shining crypt. Many people miss this,’ says Philomena.

Tašmajdan Park

Belgrade St Mark's Church in Tašmajdan Park

Enjoy a stroll through this peaceful urban park which is laden with important monuments of important people in Serbian history. There’s also three play areas for children to enjoy, a dog park and a musical fountain in the centre. But the real cherry on top of the cake is St Mark’s church which is located near the park’s perimeter on Bulevar kralja Aleksandra. It’s another fantastic Orthodox construction of Serbo-Byzantine style. Right by there is a smaller Russian Orthodox church and the Serbian parliament buildings.

Gardoš Tower

Belgrade Gardoš Tower

Full confession, there’s a few ‘dinars’ to pay if you choose to go up the Gardoš Tower, but the view from its base is free and spectacular! Also known as the Millenium Tower, it was built in 1896 to celebrate 1,000 years of Hungarian settlement on the Pannonian plain which spanned Hungary and parts of Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria.

If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, the walk from Stari Grad to Gardoš Tower is very scenic. Starting in the old town, cross Brankov Most (Branko’s Bridge) and walk with the Danube on your right. You’ll walk through Republika Srpska Park, past Tito’s Old Hotel Yugoslavia and into Zemun’s quay and waterfront area. The walk is around 7 km in total and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy a leisurely coffee (or something stronger) on the waterfront. Continue up to Gardoš Tower for beautiful views over the Danube.



Belgrade Zemun neighbourhood overlooking the Danube

If you’ve made it to Gardoš Tower, you may as well carry on and explore Zemun, a little village-like town that was swallowed up by Belgrade during the 1930’s. A particular favourite with families, you will feel as though you’ve stepped inside a fairy tale village with its red roofed Austro-Hungarian buildings. Spend an afternoon wandering the cobbled streets, dipping in and out of its beloved cafes and enjoying views over the Danube. Don’t miss a trip to the market on the waterfront, the local’s favourite where you can sample the fresh produce. Come the evening, it’s buzzing down at the quay with kafanas cooking up a storm and bars putting on live music.

Kalemegdan fortress at sunset

Belgrade Kalemegdan fortress at sunset

Round off a perfect day in Belgrade by watching the sun setting from its historical core. Visitors and locals alike enjoy the tradition of taking a bottle of wine or a picnic and sitting on top of the wall. If you’re feeling more civilised, grab a bite to eat inside Kalemegdanska Terasa, a restaurant which has been built into the fortress.

Why not bike Belgrade?

Philomena says Belgrade has a great network of cycle paths – and bike hire starts at just €12 per day.

Instead of walking to Zemun, you could pick up the cycle path at 25 May Sport Centre in the lower banks of the old town and bike it. And there are paths criss-crossing New Belgrade if you want to get a feel for its socialist-era architecture.

Or how about a day at the beach? Grab your bike and your flip flops and head to Ada Ciganlija where there’s a pebble beach fringed by a wide selection of cafes and bistros.


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